From Scratch

Chinonye Moses Written by Chinonye Moses · 4 min read >

Eight episodes make up the romance series “From Scratch”. It was launched on Netflix on October 21, 2022, and since it is a limited series, it only has one season. The season’s entire run of episodes was released at once, similar to certain Netflix programmes. Eugenio Mastrandrea, who plays Lino, and Zoe Saldaña, who plays Amahle (pronounced Ama-shey), also known as Amy, star in the movie From Scratch.

Based on Tembi Locke’s memoir From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, the television series is a true-life account.

Amy is a Texas native who enjoys the arts. Although she aspired to be an artist and pursue a career in the arts, her father, a lawyer, wanted her to become a lawyer as well. Fortunately, she was able to persuade her father that this was the path she wanted to go down.

Italian chef Lino hails from the island of Sicily. His father owns a farm and has always wanted Lino to help him out there, but Lino had other ideas. Lino dropped out school to pursue a profession in the culinary arts. Due to this decision, he and his father fell out, and he was essentially exiled from his house.

Their story starts here:

Amy went to Italy in the summer of 2002 to spend her summer focused in the arts. She intended to take advantage of this chance to use the works of famous artists as inspiration for her own artistic style. Amy never imagined she’d find the kind of love she found with Lino in Italy. Amy had a boyfriend in Italy, but it was only for short-term gain before she departed. She had no desire to carry on the romance outside of Italy.

If Love were a person, my definition of Love would be Lino. The most romantic character I’ve ever seen has to be Lino. His affection was evident in the way he embraced Amy and kissed her, as well as in the way he walked around the kitchen or cooked, spoke to Amy in Italian, Sicilian, or even English. According to how he was portrayed, this character did everything out of love (irrespective of the kind of love).

Let me just add that this on-screen coupling was just stunning to watch and checked all the chemistry boxes.

Before they finally connected, it took some time. Amy continuously battled her feelings for Lino despite wanting to be around him (who do I know acts this way?). Amy was also in a relationship with another man and didn’t want to cheat on him. Lino eventually realised he couldn’t take it any longer and gave up. He felt cheated. When Amy at last acknowledged her feelings for Lino, one of humanity’s most beautiful moments occurred.

When Amy’s summer was ended, Lino joined her and moved to the United States as their love story began (their love was that strong).

It wasn’t an easy transition. At first, they lived with Amy’s sister Zora. Lino was unable to find employment that allowed him to utilise his skills as a chef. Amy was an upcoming artist who was likewise having trouble making it in this industry. Despite their best efforts, it wasn’t enough to succeed. Money wasn’t the only problem; Lino also felt excluded and out of place.

Becoming One flesh

When they got married (she proposed but who cares?), the challenges intensified. The eatery where Lino was employed closed. On Amy’s side, she received an offer to work with kids and teach them art while also receiving a promotion at her current profession, which meant higher salary. Since the restaurant was going to be shut down entirely, Lino made the decision to try a Pop-Up restaurant to see how well it would do under his management and to persuade the investors to invest again. This was made possible by the savings he and Amy had. Amy later accepted a position teaching art to children, which resulted in a decrease in pay. She didn’t care because she was pursuing her dream.

The day the pop-up restaurant opened for the first-time Lino hit his knee (doing interesting stuff). What was thought to be minor soon became major and it was found out that he had Soft Tissue Cancer. This was completely heart breaking. They started treatment to shrink the tumor and later performed surgery on the knee. Lino’s parents were also informed and they flew down to US. This event reunited him with his dad. Surgery was successful and Lino started a trial drug and in no time was in remission (great news!!!)

Lino and Amy with Baby Idalia

They both made the decision to raise a family and chose adoption. After a lengthy adoption process, they were soon given a lovely baby girl the day Zora, Amy’s sister was getting married. She was named Idalia (an Italian name meaning behold the sun). They took good care of themselves and their infant daughter while living in love. Lino quit work and became a stay-at-home father. There was a chance that the cancer would recur, so he was also getting regular checkups. Lino’s father passed away during this phase of their life.

One fateful day, Lino started coughing and went to the hospital for his routine examination and it was discovered that the cancer had returned but this time more malignant. Lino developed some infection in the course of chemotherapy, and it was devastating. The treatment wasn’t doing much for him anymore and he asked to be discharged and taken home.  

Amy and Lino in the hospital

He reunited with his friends and family at this time, shared and made new memories with them, and relished what was left of his life.

After being released from the hospital for a few weeks, Lino eventually passed away at home. He was cremated, and his remains were taken to Sicily, his hometown, to be put in the cemetary.

It was so agonising to see, and it got me wondering about the possibility of finding love as deep as this that can stand the test of time and not experiencing pain as deep as the love. I’m not sure such exists as everything in life must have balance.  The YinYang phenomenon

The whole family (friends who turned family included)

I believed that this series captured every aspect of life: love, pain, suffering, health issues, poverty, wealth, desires, and passions, as well as family, friends, struggle, peace, life, and death.

Eugenio Mastrandrea is definitely one to watch out for. His performance in this series was exquisite.

This series undoubtedly increased my appreciation for life and inspired me to live fearlessly and take risks because, in the end, what matters is not how long you lived but how well you lived.

I’ll end this in Lino’s words; In dreams, as in love, all is possible.

P.S.: Whether or not you are emotional like me, have tissues with you when you watch this show. When you get to episode 7&8, bring twice as many tissues. You’re welcome.

I hope you enjoy the show much more than I did. Until next time.


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